Spring is finally here and it is the perfect time to start preparing your lawn for the warm weather ahead.  A good clean-up is crucial in reviving your tired lawn and getting it ready for the upcoming growing season. Cutting corners now could mean compromising your lawns appearance in the months ahead.

A spring clean-up is more than just mowing and fertilizing your lawn. A thorough clean-up requires a few key steps to guard your lawn against environmental stress, pests, weeds and disease.

Start your clean up by checking your property for damaged or insect infested trees, bushes and plants, and any trees or branches that look like they are in risk of falling. Any major tree removal or landscaping project should be completed before starting your spring clean-up.  If you are unsure if your trees need attention, call a professional who will be able to assess any damage or infestation.

If you have a sprinkler system, check to make sure there was no damage over the winter.  A cracked sprinkler line may require the uprooting of your lawn to make necessary repairs. If this is done before your clean-up, it can save you time and money.

Once you have checked your property, you can begin clearing leaves and branches left behind from the fall and winter seasons. Rotting leaves in plant beds or in the corners of your fence can lead to mold and mildew growth and can attract pests, if left untouched. Besides the aesthetics of a tidy lawn, removing leaves and other smothering debris allows the sunlight to shine down, which allows for photosynthesis. This will promote growth and stop any further damage to your lawn.

The next step to a healthier lawn is dethatching it. This process not only removes dead grass, it also increases the effectiveness of fertilization and water absorption, which benefits the growth of your lawn. Skipping this process can hinder new growth. Professional landscaping contractors use a de-thatcher, also known as a power rake, to more effectively de-thatch lawns.

Most professionals will aerate your lawn during your spring clean-up. An aeration machine is used to punch holes into the turf to remove small plugs of soil. Aerating allows oxygen to get to the roots of your lawn, which results in better absorption of water and nutrients. The dethatching and aerating process are the two basic steps to ensure a lush green lawn all summer long.

Cutting your lawn not only provides a clean and manicured appearance, it also encourages growth and removes any remaining debris that may have been left behind during the dethatching and aerating process. A consistent mowing schedule will help keep your lawn healthy and keep insects away. It will also keep debris from accumulating on your lawn.

Knowing your lawn, the type of species it is and how it grows, can benefit you in the long run. There are specific requirements for each species of grass, and benefits for maintaining certain minimum and maximum heights. Mowing performed at the correct height and frequency is essential to the health and density of your lawn.

Although fall is the best time to introduce new seed into an existing lawn, if you start early enough in the spring, seeds can have enough time to mature before the severe heat of summer. If you notice damaged areas on your lawn, properly de-thatch and aerate the area and seed it. Within a few weeks you will notice seedlings and a few weeks later, the damaged areas will be restored.

Once your lawn has been prepped, adding fertilizer can provide a thick, green and healthier lawn. There are a variety of fertilizers available on the market – knowing the right one for your lawn can be a challenge. Many professional landscapers will tailor fertilizer and other chemicals for the nuances of your lawn.

As you can see, a thorough spring clean-up is a great way to ensure your lawn and yard get off to a good start. Spend more time now preparing your property so that you can enjoy it all summer long.  If you don’t have a green thumb, call a professional that can provide the landscaping services your property needs.

As with any home improvement project or service, make sure the professional you hire is licensed and insured to provide the services they provide.

Gary Malandro, President         Gary’s Landscaping

(718) 761-2475   www.garyslandscaping.com